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Fidel Castro's Death Sparks Celebrations In Miami

To many, he was a cruel dictator. To others, he was a revolutionary icon. To all, he is now deceased.

On Friday, Cuban leader Fidel Castro died at the age of 90, nearly 58 years after he first took power in the Caribbean nation.

The news came from current Cuban president Raúl Castro, who announced his brother's death on state-run television.

Raúl said,

With profound sadness I am appearing to inform our people and our friends across [Latin] America and the world that today, 25 November 2016, at 10.29pm, Fidel Castro, the commander in chief of the Cuban revolution, died. In accordance with his wishes, his remains will be cremated.
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Within half an hour of Raúl Castro's announcement, "thousands" of Cuban-Americans flooded the streets of Miami's Little Havana neighborhood to celebrate Fidel's death, according to the Associated Press.

Many of the scenes from those celebrations were shared on social media and featured people expressing their joy by doing everything from chanting, clanging pans and popping Champagne.

Following the news of Fidel Castro's death, celebrations immediately broke out in Miami's Little Havana https://t.co/Sf44UiUJde pic.twitter.com/4rEhp5tTgA — CNN (@CNN) November 26, 2016

 

One of the many Cubans celebrating in the street, 78-year-old Hugo Ribas, told Agence France-Presse,

He should have died a long time ago! He's a criminal, a murderer and a wretched being! The brother should have died too — in that family they're all criminals!
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A younger Cuban-American, 23-year-old Analia Rodriguez, also shared her thoughts with AFP,

It took too long [...] There was too much pain and too many broken families, and now — I'm happy!

Despite the notable celebrations in Florida, where over 1 million Cubans reside, Fidel Castro's legacy is likely to remain a complicated one.

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It's a point that Harvard professor Jorge Dominguez noted in a conversation with NPR.

Dominguez said,

That's what makes him such a complex figure. When he did things for good, he did a great deal of good. And when he did things for bad, he did a great deal of bad.

For those celebrating in Miami, though, Fidel Castro's means clearly did not justify his end.

Citations: Cuban exiles pour onto Miami streets to celebrate Fidel Castro's death (Miami Herald), Cubans in Miami: Revelry and reflection after Castro's death (Associated Press)